Over the past twenty-four hours, we’ve learned more about the rogue trader that lost the Swiss bank UBS $2 billion. It turns out that the trader, Kweku Adoboli, had the same job at UBS as Societe Generale's Jérôme Kerviel, whose fraudulent trading cost the bank €4.9 billion in 2008. How does this happen, and what is it that drives these traders to commit fraud?
Minnesota Congresswoman and presidential contender Michele Bachmann continues to draw criticism, after making remarks this week that the HPV vaccine is dangerous for young girls. Speaking with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today Show," Bachmann said that a woman on Florida told her that her daughter had received the vaccine, and "suffered from mental retardation after." Public health advocates are encouraging Bachmann to provide proof of this story. And two bioethics professors have upped the ante, offering to pay more than $10,000 for medical records that prove the anecdote is true.
Bank of America confirmed on Monday that it plans to cut at least 30,000 jobs from the company, and eliminate $5 billion in costs annually by 2014. The banking behemoth currently employs 288,000 people. The first group of employees to be eliminated will be those working in consumer banking operations, and home loans, technology and support operations.
Eight members of the Bahai'i religious minority are awaiting trial in Iran, after organizing the Baha'i Institute for Education, a place where dismissed professors teach Baha'i youth as volunteers. The Iranian government recognizes the Baha'i community as a political organization, rather than a religious group, and declared the center illegal.
The events of September 11, 2001 amounted to unfathomable costs, in terms of lives and families forever torn apart, not to mention the physical and emotion after effects that continue to haunt the survivors of 9/11. In addition to that, there was an economic cost to 9/11 — one that is almost equally unfathomable.
Last night, as President Obama was giving his jobs speech, federal authorities were confirming reports that there is a specific, credible terrorist threat for the New York City and District of Columbia areas this coming weekend. Counterterrorism officials are investigating a possible truck bomb, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference last night that he would increase security in the city, and that residents should keep their "eyes wide open."
Football fans have waited all year for tonight. The defending champions, the Green Bay Packers will face off against the New Orleans Saints, the Super Bowl champions of 2009. For serious football fanatics, that means fantasy football is starting up too, and the draft finished up last night.
In advance of tomorrow night's Republican presidential debate — the second for GOP candidates hoping to run in the 2012 election, and first for Texas Gov. Rick Perry — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney unveiled a plan to boost economic growth, in a speech yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada. It hasn't seemed to boost his standing yet — a new poll shows Perry in the lead over Romney and other GOP candidates.
As politicians in Washington debate ways to revamp of sagging economy, a look at the life of a man who made tremendous contributions to the global economy back in the 1950s. Keith Tantlinger, inventor of the first viable shipping container (antiquated versions had been in use since the 19th century), died at age 92 last week. Tantlinger was an inventor who was hired by a man named Malcolm McLean to envision a more streamlined and standardized system for shipping goods overseas. His modern version of the shipping container, with twist locks, revolutionized global trade.
Since FBI translator Shamai Leibowitz was sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to leaking information to a blogger, the case has been shrouded in mystery. Even the judge trial didn't know what information Leibowitz had divulged. Over a year later, it is now known that Leibowitz acquired secret transcript of wiretapped conversation from the Israeli Embassy and passed them on to a blogger named Richard Silverstein. The case is the Obama administration's first successful prosecution over the leaking of classified information to the media.
President Obama's jobs speech is already shrouded in partisan controversy, after the president attempted to schedule his talk for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7 — the same date as the second debate for GOP presidential candidates. House Speaker John Boehner asked Obama to reschedule, and Obama complied, changing the date for the speech to September 8. Could this be a preview of future party wars over the jobs agenda?
It doesn't take a scientist to conclude that going through the foreclosure process is stressful. Even the threat of being foreclosed on can make one's blood pressure rise. But science can show the very real effects that these tough economic times are having on America's health. A new study links the rise in foreclosures to more hospital visits related to diabetes and hypertension. More specifically, for every 100 foreclosures there was a 7.2 percent rise in emergency room visits, an 8.1 percent increase in diabetes cases for people aged 20 to 49, and 12 percent more hospital visits related to anxiety in the same age category.
Yesterday, NATO spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie announced that, "despite the remnants of the regime, the Tripoli region is essentially freed." While the NATO mission to take out the Gadhafi regime does seem to be largely a success, some critics are pointing out the many problems that arose with the NATO mission in Libya — problems that may be indicative of larger issues within NATO that need to be addressed.
It sounds like the script of a movie, but the story of how American Matthew VanDyke ended up in the hands of the Gadhafi regime is very real. VanDyke traveled to Libya to help friends living there just as the war broke out between the rebels and the loyalists. He was captured in Brega, hit over the head and awoke in a prison cell. He was placed in solitary confinement twice, for 85 and then 76 days, before essentially escaping on August 24.
Libyan rebel leaders have rejected the prospect of having United Nations peacekeepers aid in the transition to a new government, according to top UN officials. The rebels also continue to search for Moammar Gadhafi, as Gadhafi's wife and three children fled to Algeria yesterday. The rebels are also facing growing pressure to provide basic services to the Libyan people, like water and electricity, in advance of actually organizing a transitional government.
Hurricane Irene's rumble through the East Coast over the weekend is another natural disaster for FEMA deal with this year. At least 30 people have died, and that number may rise as flodding continues to cause problems in Vermont and upstate New York. Previously this year, the Mississippi River's had record-breaking floods and tornadoes ravaged through hundreds of miles of land, across numerous states. Already, FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund is running seriously low, with only $800 million to $1 billion left.
The scars and legacy of racism in America and poverty has ways of bubbling up to the surface in surprising ways. Today that legacy shows up in the story of the life and death of a famous American folklorist, journalist and author, Stetson Kennedy, who died at the age of 94 over the weekend. Kennedy became famous for allegedly infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan as an undercover journalist, then exposing their secrets in a book, “I Rode with the Ku Klux Klan,” which was published in 1954. He spoke with This American Life's Ira Glass about his experience, in 2005.
Yesterday the United Nations Security Council reached an agreement to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets, to help meet humanitarian needs for civilians there. The State Department is assuring the American people that money will not fall into the wrong hands. Libyan rebels are continuing their search for Moammar Gadhafi, with the help of NATO. But what will the U.S.'s role be in Libya's transition to a democracy?
We're all witnessing a historical moment in the Middle East, as Libya prepares for the end of Moammar Gadhafi’s rule. And while the revolution that has taken six months to occur is in many ways remarkable, Americans may also be in the midst of our own, quieter moment in history: a lost decade. The recession has made it so that young people in particular are having a very difficult time beginning their careers, starting families and buying homes — so they're delaying doing those things. The unemployment rate is hovering at 9.1 percent, and for people between the ages of 16 and 19, it was 25 percent in July. For those ages 20-24, it was 14.6 percent.
Dr. Seuss fans, rejoice. This fall, seven rare Seuss stories, which were previously printed in Redbook, will be published in book form. The stories — which he wrote between 1950 and 1951 — have fantastically Seussian titles: "The Bippolo Seed," "Zinniga-Zanniga," "Tadd and Todd," and "Gustav the Goldfish." The compilation is called "The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss," and Random House is publishing it in late September.